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Frequently Asked Questions

If you have any queries, take a look at these frequently asked questions, they may have the answer you're looking for.

If you still require further information, please contact us and we'll endeavour to help as much as we can.

Not much. Exercise clothing such as tracksuit bottoms / leggings and a t-shirt - don't worry too much about footwear as we train barefooted. Also, please bring a drink, preferably water.

For insurance reasons the youngest children we can accept into our school is age 4. We cannot allow any child to train (even in a trial class) before their 4th birthday.

You're never too old to start training. Our organisation has members who started training in their 60's, and some who are achieving their black belts into their 70's. The adage "You are as young as you feel" is very true!

Our training can help members maintain and improve their strength and balance as they get older, and the increase in fitness can provide a new lease of life.

Not at all. Many people join a martial art in order to get fit. Everyone has different levels of fitness, and while we do have some very fit athletes all our students will be encouraging and motivating you throughout the session. As long as you have the desire to work hard to learn new skills, with a "never give up" attitude, martial arts will be fantastic for you.

Absolutely! Our training follows up to date principles and practices to ensure that they are as safe as they can be. Our teaching uses scientific exercise techniques so the students can be sure they are getting a safe but challenging workout. We have very few injuries but we are trained sports first-aiders, as you would expect.

The benefits of martial arts are many. From the physical to mental and emotional, improvements will be felt in a great number of ways.

Our students join our school for a wide variety of reasons. For children, many parents ask if we can help their child increase confidence, improve focus or develop discipline. A good martial arts method will enable a child to develop all of these, with the added benefit of improving their fitness, strength and social skills. We have a lot of experience teaching children who have special requirements, from physical disabilities, dyspraxia to ADHD, Aspergers and Autism, and have had great feedback from these parents about how our method has increased their strength, improved their behaviour and even assisted their ability to do well at school.

Adults join our classes for a range of different reasons. Many are looking for a form of fitness as it provides a completely different environment and atmosphere to going to a gym. Others want to learn some self defence skills. Still others are looking for an activity they can participate in and learn something new. Our classes are full of friendly like-minded people and everyone will feel welcome from their very first class.

Yes, we have new beginners starting our classes all the time. Most of our classes are mixed-ability, meaning we have beginners in the same class as experienced students, but this allows us to use the experience of long-standing members to assist you in your education. We were all beginners once, so we know what you are feeling and how you want to progress.

This is a question we get asked all the time, and the answer is "As long as it takes". The minimum time it can take is around four years, but this will only be for exceptional students who work hard and can take every grading in the minimum possible time.

Many martial arts schools will give belts and grades out just for attendance, with no thought to the quality of the education. Our Taekwon-do and kickboxing gradings are true exams, and students will only pass when they achieve the required standard. Our grades are not given away, they have to be earned with hard work and practice, and if you are not quite ready to be submitted into a grading you will be asked to wait until the next one.

The standards within PUMA schools are very high, and a PUMA student will be able to walk into any other ITF school and be a comparable standard. If you want to work towards a black belt of internationally recognised standard, our classes are for you.

There are no fees for Little Puma gradings. These gradings are held in-house by us and the belts, certificates and badges are all free as part of your monthly membership fee.

Taekwon-do and Kickboxing gradings are held locally in front of an external examiner, one of the senior grades in our organisation. If you are submitted into a grading there is a grading fee attached, currently £35.

Usually no, Taekwon-do is an "open hand" stand up martial art so we don't use weapons or go to the ground. The only time we do cover these things is when we are running self-defence sessions which take what we know from our Taekwon-do training and adapt it for a more "real-world" situation.

Yes. As with most martial arts, Taekwon-do is a contact sport and does have an element of sparring.

Our sparring is very much a sport-orientated method, and is "Semi-contact" which means that although contact is made with your partner, it is strictly controlled and is used for point scoring. Our classes are very safe, and heavy and "Full" contact sparring is not permitted or practiced.

Only if you wish to. Some martial arts clubs insist that you should enter competitions to progress through your grades, but research shows that only 5-10% of people who practice martial arts are interested in competitions.

Taekwon-do tournaments consist of patterns (traditional forms) competition as well as sparring, and some people find themselves equipped and able to compete in this category to a very high level

If you want to be a tournament competitor, there are lots of opportunities for you. If not, it won't have any impact on your training and progression.

There are two styles of Taekwon-do governed by two different world bodies, that practiced by the International Taekwon-do Federation and that of the World Taekwondo Federation. We practice ITF Taekwon-do.